Rebecca Bredow, a mother-of-two from Michigan, has been sentenced to seven days in jail after she refused a judge’s order to have her son vaccinated.
The woman would not let her 9-year-old boy be immunized after initially agreeing with the father to do so.
Rebecca Bredow’s ex-husband has now been awarded temporary primary custody in order to get the boy the jab.
Michigan parents are legally allowed to skip or delay their children’s vaccinations due to personal beliefs.
However, Rebecca Bredow fell foul of the law because she reneged on agreements with her former spouse dating back to November 2016 to have the boy immunized.
On October 4, she was sentenced for contempt of court after flouting a court order last week to have her son vaccinated.
Rebecca Bredow and her ex-husband decided at the time of their child’s birth that they would space out and delay jabs for their son.
The couple separated in 2008, according to ABC News, but they shared parental custody and the father still wanted the boy vaccinated.
Oakland County Court Judge Karen McDonald said that even though Rebecca Bredow was the child’s primary caregiver: “Dad gets a say.”
Rebecca Bredow, from the Detroit suburb of Ferndale, said in court on October 4: “I am an educated vaccine-choice mother.”
She argued that to immunize her son “goes against my beliefs”.
“I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don’t believe in,” she added.
Anti-vaccination advocates – whose claims have been widely debunked by the medical community – fear the procedure exposes children to harm, and could be the cause of autism.
According to Mlive, child immunization rates in Michigan are among the worst in the nation, ranking 43rd among the 50 US states.
The federal government does not legislate child immunization, only issuing recommendations while leaving requirements to states or local school districts.
If a parent does not comply with a school’s vaccination guidelines, the child is not permitted to attend school and the parent can be jailed for the pupil’s truancy.